By Razia Bash-Kamara :
WE BRING YOU PICTORIAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RECENT AU SUMMIT IN MALABO, EQUATORIAL GUINEA. THE REPORT AND PICTURES WERE SENT BY RAZIA BASH-KAMARA OF THE STATE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS UNIT.
President Ernest Bai Koroma participated in the opening ceremony of the Twenty Third Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State if the African Union at the Sipopo Conference Hall, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
THE AU SUMMIT IN PROGRESS
In her statement, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma welcomed all to the Twenty Third Ordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State and Government and a heartfelt gratitude to the host and people of Equatorial Guinea for the warm hospitality. She pointed out that they are near the end of their development vision and aspirations for the next fifty years, Agenda 2063. The Africa They Want.
The AU Chairperson said they will table those discussions at the Summit, but beg on the indulgence of all concerned to allow them to popularize it and solicit further inputs so that they present the Agenda 2063 for adoption at the next summit, including the next ten years. She maintained that they are already in the first of their fifty year journey and are shifting gears towards working on the practical programmes in all their Agenda 2063 priority areas, the implementation issues that must take their continent agenda to a higher level and make the irreversible change.
PRESIDENT KOROMA CHAIRS C-10 IN MALABO. FAR RIGHT IS THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, DR. SAMURA KAMARA
Deliberating on the Summit’s theme” Year of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said to achieve the aims and objectives of CAADEP, they must set themselves the target of increasing investment in agriculture and to increase productivity. She added that by 2013, over twenty countries managed to raise their investments in agriculture to over six percent noting the they need to do more. The AU Chairperson pointed out that agriculture is critical in their industrialization efforts as well and for agriculture and the environment to flourish they need conditions of peace and stability, and for their people not to be under threat from ganged robbers, terrorists and human arms traffickers.
The United Nations Secretary General Banki-Moon pointed out that last year saw stability development towards the Millennium Development Goals and commended the stance taken by the African Union over the conflicts in the continent. This he noted is a welcomed effort by the United Nations adding that their two organizations are collaborating closely towards conflict resolution. The UN Secretary General advised that for conflicts not to further escalate and tension to be reduced, they should be seen working with religious leaders, women and children.
He made it clear that for the theme of the Summit to be achieved, they need to implement speedy industrialization for the creation of jobs which will eventually improve on the social access of social amenities and commended the African Union for its resolution to declare the continent hunger free in 2018. The United Nations Secretary General further encouraged the African Union to work together with the United Nations to make Africa a better nation as it is the objective of the United Nations.
MR. SAIDU NALLO , OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF SIERRA LEONE TO THE UN IN NEW YORK SEEN HERE DURING THE MEETING
Welcoming his colleague Heads of State and Government and other delegations, host President Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea said the moment is a critical one in that the nations if the world are gathered to find solutions on conflicts, hunger and economic crisis that has affected their people. He maintained that it is his fervent hope that their meeting will be an opportunity for them to reflect on how to further re enforce the African Union. President Nguema Mbasogo noted that the large number of Heads of State and Government attending the Summit demonstrates their commitment to find solutions to the existing problems.
THE C-10 MEETING IN MALABO
Speaking on the theme, he said Africa does not develop its agricultural sector, it will not develop and implored all concerned not to be found just depending on developed countries but should endeavor to bridge the gap. President Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo made it clear that the development of agriculture will substantially resolve the dependence on donors and reduce hunger in Africa
The President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania andCurrent Chairman of the African Union Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz congratulated his colleagues that have won the confidence of their people by winning the elections in their various countries. He also expressed gratitude to the Heads of State and Government of the AU for their tireless efforts made in moving the Commission ahead adding that the agricultural sector contributes significantly to the development of Africa. The Current Chairman encouraged his colleagues to continue to work together especially in restoring peace and stability to the continent because all the successes achieved still remain fragile as long as the conflicts continue. President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz further called on colleagues to continue to work assiduous together by scaling up the level of skills of the youths, training and education while strongly condemning all terrorists acts in the Continent.
Meanwhile President Ernest Bai Koroma has held a meeting with the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government of the United Nations Security Council Reform.
President Koroma introduced the fourteenth report which provided update on recent developments on the reform of the Security Council and the conclusions of the Oyo Summit. The President also introduced for consideration and adoption an outreach programme of the C-10 for engagement with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The outreach programme, he said is intended to seek clarity and concrete support for Africa in the ongoing UN Security Council Reform process. President Koroma noted that the five permanent members are considered to be major stakeholders in the reform of the UN Security Council and therefore vital to reach out to them at the highest level in furtherance of Africa’s legitimate demands.
Endorsing the report, the President of Namibia commended President Koroma for his commitment and leadership to the work of the committee as well as promoting the common African Position. He reiterated the support and commitment of his delegation in that regard.
Other speakers were Libya, Algeria, and Kenya. The report was endorsed together with the matrix of outreach activities and the draft decision which among others calls for engagement with other interest groups at the highest level. It further requested all African Union member states to include the issue of Security Council Reform as one of their Foreign Policy priorities and also committed the African Union to allocate a budget in support of the work of the committee . The report will be presented to the Summit by President Koroma for further consideration.